Small Projects around the home that make a big difference

By Professional Organiser Robyn Amott

Robyn Amott, a Professional Organiser & Declutter Specialist, owner of Bless this Mess and Professional Member of the Institute of Professional Organisers, shares her top tips on how you can effectively tackle small projects around the home that will ensure to make a big difference.

If you’re thinking you don’t have the time to organise your home, think again.

Firstly, it’s important to get clear on your vision of what being organised looks like for you. Understanding what actually has a purpose to you, along with where you should zone each of your items is vital in creating long term results. Establishing functionality throughout your home goes a long way in achieving long term success.

Let’s start by implementing some simple strategies that can create results in a small amount of time.

  • Set a timer

    20 minutes is often enough time to tackle mini projects.

  • Action items as they come to hand

    Stop putting things on the ‘later’ pile or that never ending ‘to do list’.  Action them as they come to hand and stop double handling.

  • Apply the one in one out rule

    To maintain the balance of content, if you gain an item you must throw out an item. E.g. new towels in, old towels out.

  • Stop tidying up

    Tidying up or as we refer to it ‘shuffling’, is very different from organising.  Tidying is simply the act of moving items from one place to another to make your home look tidy. This method is counterproductive to decluttering.

  • Put the purpose back into your processes

    Establish a purposeful home by creating zones for each item. Consider where each item needs to be housed based on where it needs to function. (before that, ask yourself if you even need it).

  • Break it down into smaller tasks

    We don’t always have the time to complete an entire room or space.  Break down projects into smaller tasks and chip away at it. Working on one category of item at a time, can also help you remained focused on the end goal. The clutter and disorganisation didn’t happen overnight, so you need to take a gradual approach to remedy it.

So now we have some strategies, let’s look at which spaces are the best to start with.

The Junk Draw

This usually encompasses a collection of phantom bits and pieces that don’t have a specific home.

Pull everything out. Group like with like items together.  Declutter unnecessary items.  Rehouse items that don’t belong here to the other areas in which they have a purpose.  Utilise sectionals to create smaller homes within the draw.

Under the Sink

Bathroom, laundry, or kitchen.  These spaces can easily get out of hand, but usually take very little time to sort.

Check products are still in date and relevant to your needs. Group like with like items together using these handy baskets with handles and remember to label them.

Medicine Storage

The key here is to first think about where you’re storing your medicines.  Moisture or heat can quickly reduce the validity of items. Therefore, above the fridge or higher shelves in the pantry are often the best storage areas.  Most of us take our medicine in the kitchen so it makes sense to store them here.

Again, pull everything out, check for validity dates and group like with like items together. E.g. kid’s medicine vs prescription medicine etc. Give shelves a good wipe down before reloading.  Avoid using containers with lids as this creates a barrier to accessing items easily.

Marie Storage Baskets with Handle are great for storing medicines up high, with and easy access pull out handle.

The Fridge

I find this one needs to be attended to more regularly.

Prior to going grocery shopping, do a quick check over items that may have past their use by date.  Give everything a good wipe out.  Again, breaking up your space for like items ensures nothing gets lost at the back.  A series of clear draws are a great way to maintain order.


Are paper piles taking over your desk or kitchen benchtop?

Grouping into categories based on the action required is key here.  Open mail over the bin and discard junk paperwork immediately. With emails, unsubscribe from anything that is no longer relevant.  Go paperless with your utility accounts.  Most importantly, only file it away if it’s required for quick reference as most of our information can now be accessed online.

Set up a command station

For all your incoming paperwork. Vertical stations are a lot more effective as you can file by category. E.g. Bills to Pay, Follow Up etc

Organising is never a ‘set and forget’ process.  However, when you put more thought into the process and effective zoning / homing of each category, there is a much greater chance you’ll maintain your spaces for the long term.  Additionally, it’s easier to identify when an item is out of place when you have set homes for everything.  “A place for everything and everything in its place”.

Howards would like to thank Robyn from Bless This Mess for sharing this article.

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If you are not based in Melbourne and would like to find an accredited Professional Organiser visit the Institute of Professional Organisers to find an organiser in your area.

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Article published January 2018. Updated February 2021.

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